I’m queen of the world! | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 67, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214



This paper analyses English multi-word insertions found in a Dutch corpus of naturally occurring spoken conversation. Specifically, the corpus is based on manual morphophonological transcriptions of three seasons of the reality TV show (known as ‘Survivor’ in the English-speaking world) and contains 10,000 utterances produced by 52 Belgian Dutch and Netherlandic Dutch speakers. Our analysis zooms in on all English insertions found in the data that contain more than one word, such as and (300 instances for 187 types). Three different diagnostic tests are presented that measure the degree of fixedness and conventionality of these multi-word insertions, namely lexicographical treatment, raw frequency and paradigmatic modifiability. Results reveal that the English multi-word inclusions are typically highly conventional fixed expressions, copied as a whole from English and inserted in Dutch much like traditional loanwords. Constructions containing open slots (e.g. ) and prototypical codeswitches (e.g. ) are rare. These findings will be linked to the nature of the English-Dutch contact setting. Overall, our study contributes to research on contact-induced variation and change by paying attention to the use of foreign (semi-)fixed phrases and constructions, which form an interesting but often neglected grey-zone on the continuum from borrowing to codeswitching. Additionally, it opens up the restricted focus on monolingual contexts of early research on phraseology and Construction Grammar.


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